2010 annual Idlewheel Tour Diary


thursday, february 11th – house concert, landsdowne, PA (cancelled)

friday, february 12th – court at the king of prussia mall, king of prussia PA (…amended)

saturday, february 13th – puck live in doylestown PA with wissahickon chicken shack

sunday, february 14th – casbah house concerts in union, NJ

if we’d made t-shirts for this tour, we’d have had to call it “murphy’s tour 2010″…i mean, who else puts together a string of dates immediately following the largest recorded snowfall in philadelphia area history?

well, idlewheel, of course. 🙂

in all seriousness, there was no way to have predicted the pair of snowstorms that dumped a collective thirty-plus inches of snow on us within the space of a few days, the last of them being on the tuesday just prior to our run of shows. our initial plan was for wednesday to be our rehearsal day, with thursday being the first show – but when jacks’ flight was postponed, then cancelled, it first became obvious that there wouldn’t be any rehearsal…then that the thursday show wouldn’t be happening at all. then, after all that, jack wasn’t able to get a flight in time for the friday show, so we had to realign the show to a somewhat typical writers in the round style show, with a trio show featuring craig, tommy and myself in place of the idlewheel segment.

so, when saturday came around, we all knew that it’d essentially be jack climbing off a plane, into a car, and onto the stage. and yet, none of us really got too uptight about it.

saturday was a co-bill at puck in doylestown with the mighty wissahickon chicken shack, who i’d never heard before this show, and i have to say – i was mightily impressed. i’d made the acquaintance of phil d’agostino before, but didn’t know any of the other players. standouts were kiley ryan on fiddle and brad hinton on lap steel. they truly are a great band.

we had a pretty solid show, as well – there were some things that have changed a bit over time, in terms of how we execute some of the songs, and it’s all been for the better…but i have to make a point of reviewing some of the stuff before the first show and making sure i have some idea of what i intend to do for some of these songs. i’ve been playing 12 string electric on “it must be love” and i’m only just beginning to figure out what kind of solo to incorporate into that song. i actually nailed it on saturday, then screwed it up on sunday (which is unfortunate, since the sunday version made it onto YouTube)…i’ve gotten into a pretty solid groove on “howl like a lonesome wind”, though. that song has serious legs now. 🙂

sunday was the Casbah show…the house concert at charlie and dorothy wade’s house in union, NJ. we do this show every time we put together a string of idlewheel dates, and the folks who come to this show make it worth it every time. it’s an interesting load-in, down a scary set of stairs (scary if you’re carrying gear, anyway) and around a tight corner, but once we’re set up and we start playing, life is good no matter what came before.

we did a couple of songs for this show that we’d never done before, and some of my faves – including “little red reminders” and “twisted, tied and tangled”, among others…including the aforementioned “it must be love”, documented here. gaffes and all, though…this video is a pretty accurate representation of how much fun we extract out of one another’s company, if nothing more. please forgive me for the drunken walkdown on the guitar solo, though…it’ll be over before you know it.

it seems weird to keep bringing this up every time we play there, but the sound in their modest little basement is incredible – we go in there with a full rhythm section, and it sounds phenomenal every time.

always happy to go back. 🙂

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